Posts Tagged ‘Wii’

New: Nintendo Pulse Thing!

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

Nintendo just announced a new peripheral device: A sensor that clips onto your finger and measures your pulse. It sounds kind of simple and/or stupid, but I think Nintendo will be the first company to bring us completely immersive and realistic gaming. We’ve all played those games where you’re running around and you hear your character’s heartbeat in the background. Imagine if that followed the rhythms of your own heart? What if your character became shaky and jumpy when your own heart rate increased?
It looks like everyone is just thinking of fitness programs, right now, which the clip would certainly complement — But there are a good number of future applications for it, too.

What about the future? Nintendo has used the wii-mote in their guitars, steering wheels, guns, and more. They’ve got the balance pad, an old-style controller (old-style is a funny concept, because PS3 and XBOX 360 are still using them), a secondary tiltable/swingable device, and now the heart-rate sensor. They’ll add more, before the console is through: Imagine some sort of head- or ear-mounted device which measures the angle and direction of your head, which might move the camera angle slightly to give you a better view of your surroundings, and might make 3D applications easier (there’s already been 3D tutorials implemented by strapping a wii-mote to a helmet.

Then you’ve got sensors for your feet, hands, head, and heart. What’s left? Maybe they can read some simple brain signals, like blood flow, to control something else. (A game where doing math increases the potency of your magic spells?) I haven’t heard anything about microphones and voice technology, but I’m sure they have that.

Sony and Microsoft, meanwhile, will be left with as many buttons as fingers can touch, and little else. The days of hand-based games are going to slowly draw to a close, the way joysticks have.